Holiday Strategies

I would not have gotten through my family’s Thanksgiving party successfully this year if it weren’t for all the pre-planning I did. At our last workshop “Surviving the Holidays” we had everyone fill out a few worksheets clearly stating their goals, what foods they want to stay away from, what they’re giving themselves permission to have, and how they are going to achieve this. I am so thankful I filled one out because it helped me visualize all the things I wanted to avoid (rice, rolls, sugared cranberries, wine, pie), and what I needed to bring to make that happen (mashed cauliflower, a veggie tray, and an ICE drink).


If you want to stay true to your health goals this year, I urge you to write these things down as well. Be honest with yourself and where you’re at with your health goals. Are you at your goal weight and simply want to maintain through the holidays? Or, are you on protocol, losing weight every week, and want to keep going strong with no deviations? Whatever the case may be, dig deep and write it all out. Below are 8 steps you can take to help you make the best choices at any holiday gathering.


1. Bring your own food.
 You know that everyone will be grazing on snacks, food, and drinks the whole time. If you bring your own dish or two to pass, you guarantee that you have something healthy to fill your plate with.


2. Eat breakfast and lunch before going out to a dinner party.
Do not skip meals all day, hoping it will counteract poor choices later. This never works! At every holiday party before the main meal, I hear at least 5 relatives say “I’m starving! I haven’t eaten all day.” When I ask why, it always has to do with “I’m saving room for later.” Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch consisting of some sort of protein and vegetables. This way, your blood sugar levels will be stable, leading to better decision making at the event.


3. Warm liquids are very satiating.

Start the night by sipping on a hot soup or beverage. This will help your body feel satisfied sooner and ultimately avoid overeating.


4. Don’t stand or sit right next to the munchies: Chex mix, chocolates, pretzels, crackers etc.

When all of that is in arms reach, it makes it harder to stay away. Mingle further away from that table, hold a water, chat with friends and family, and simply wait for the main meal. Your stomach will thank you later.


 5. At mealtime, focus on filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, roasted asparagus, green beans, or mashed cauliflower.
On the other half of your plate, add a reasonable portion of protein (the size of your fist), and if you’re giving yourself permission to eat some foods higher in carbohydrates, that can go on the last 1/4 of your plate. Complex carbs like butternut squash, carrots, or peas are a much better choice than white rice, bread, pasta, and baked goods. This is because complex carbs contain much more nutrients and fiber. They also break down slower in the digestive tract keeping your blood sugar levels more stable.


6. Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating.
Slow down, chew everything fully, recognize the smells, flavors, and textures. You could even try to guess what spices they used to make the dish. Set your fork down and take a sip of water at least twice before finishing your meal. This will help you pace yourself and make room for conversation. Talk about your new lifestyle change, everyone is always eager to learn about healthy eating.


7. When you’ve finished your meal, cleanse your palate by eating a refreshing Ice Chip or a piece of approved sugar-free gum (aspartame-free like Pür).

When everyone else is eating a sugar-laden dessert, pull out your favorite Ideal Product to stay on track. If you’re in maintenance, hopefully you made some fat bombs or a low carb dessert that you can enjoy- guilt free!

8.  Be proud!
You’ve successfully gotten through the night without overeating or indulging. When you get home you could unwind by taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. In today’s busy world, this is the type of self-care we all can benefit from.


This holiday season, I hope you will find the value in taking 5 minutes to write out your goals and permissions. Find the power in your own words. Setting boundaries can be the most powerful tool for building a healthy lifestyle.

Ideal Wellness

Ideal Wellness